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Resolutions & Amendments

37th International Convention - Chicago, IL (2006)

Urge Congress to Enact Legislation Requiring Paid Family Medical Leave

Resolution No. 59
37th International Convention
August 7-11, 2006
Chicago, IL

Workers in the United States experience family and medical challenges that impose stress on the worker and the worker's family; and

Stress on the worker and the worker's family generates the potential for difficulties in the workplace, to the detriment of the worker and the employer; and

Only about half of workers in the United States have the right to unpaid leave options that are granted under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and many of these workers will not take advantage of this right due to the limited availability of paid leave (U.S. Department of Labor, FMLA Survey:  Balancing the Needs of Families and Employers: 2000 Update, 2001); and

The United States Department of Labor reports that a large number of Americans who needed family or medical leave could not take it because leave was unpaid and they could not financially afford it; and

A sizable percentage of workers who lack access to paid benefits report to have used public assistance for support during family leaves; and

In 2004 California became the first state to guarantee paid family and medical leave which provides over 13 million California workers with partial income to take time off to care for a new child or seriously ill family member. Paid leave bills have been filed in twenty-seven other states; and

That AFSCME International and its state councils believe that workers should not be forced to choose between their family and their paycheck; and
That AFSCME International and its state councils urge Congress to enact legislation that provides 12 weeks of paid family leave for workers taking leave due to illness or to care for an ill family member.
SUBMITTED BY: Carol Stahlke, President and Delegate
AFSCME Local 189, Council 75
C.J. Mann, President and Delegate
AFSCME Local 3267, Council 75